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a blog by Chris Barrow

Your money in 2016

A big day for me today (and for those who have been working their way through our Get Your Year in Gear (GYYIG) programme for the last 7 weeks).

This morning I’ll be creating my personal cash flow forecast for 2016 – estimating my personal expenses on necessities and luxuries next year and creating a worksheet on an established spreadsheet. The MOAS – mother of all spreadsheets.

This morning the GYYIG delegates will download an Excel template for their 2016 MOAS.

My MOAS celebrates its 20th anniversary this year – 1996 was the first time I sat down and meticulously reviewed my previous year’s cost of living to provide a guide to the coming year.

For 20 years I have taken a half hour each weekend (except vacations) to review my previous week’s banking and update the MOAS worksheet with actual expenses replacing budgets.

Has it made me asset rich? Definitely not.

Has it made me happy? Almost always.

80% – when I have had plenty of money, I’ve enjoyed the ability to spend without buyer’s remorse.

20% – when I haven’t had enough money, I’ve spent a few minutes feeling sorry for myself – then I’ve focused on the solutions that were necessary to make the extra money.

The MOAS has been a constant companion and friend, sometimes sharing bitter truths about inadequate earnings or excessive spending, always from a place of crushing logic.

Numbers don’t do emotions (that’s what I love about mathematics – no moods).

I still meet clients who tell me that they have no formal organisation around personal money – they just work and spend and when the going is good, enjoy themselves.

The going, however, never stays good forever.

The systems you develop whilst the going is good will save your skin when the going gets bad.

By lunchtime today I will know exactly what I intend to spend next year, then I can start thinking about how I’m going to earn it.

Peace of Mind.

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